High tech gifts to use around the home
*Steve Makris is a technology expert who does a weekly Tech Talk segment during Edmonton’s Sunday Morning News. You can watch his segment above.
Good morning folks! Today I start my tech holiday gift guide series with hot giveaways every Sunday through November.
Sunday’s giveaways are the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Pink Edition electric toothbrush for her and the Philips Shaver 9000 for him.
Not every gift suggestion is new, though, some are arriving in stores now and others I talked about earlier this year; but they are still leading edge and reduced in price to make way for newer models.
Let’s start with personal care.
Two electric toothbrushes, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, $229, and the Braun Oral-B Black 7000, $219, are made with different brushing modes and include travel case.
The Oral-B sells for as low as $160, while the DiamondClean often drops to $200.
So how do you choose the right one? I have used both in the last six months. The DiamondClean is more elegant and comes in black, white and a new pink edition. The removable brushes reach deeper in your mouth for folks who still have their wisdom teeth. It’s not as noisy as the Oral-B nd shows what mode you are in on a smart LED display. You simply place the toothbrush in the glass, even when wet, and it charges inductively.
The travel case, also inductive, is charged via USB with a small wall charger, but you can use your USB phone charger or laptop to charge the DiamondClean.
The Oral-B Black 7000 vibrates faster and has noticeably different modes, especially the tongue cleaning mode for sensitive users. It comes with a timer that shows you when to change to your next quadrant of your mouth while brushing.
Both companies have piles of competitive research, even against each other. The bottom line is they are similar in performance, especially when it comes plaque removal, and far better than manual brushing. You pay for the quality and the additional features and accessories. Both are available at most retail outlets but model availability may vary.
The new Philips Shaver 9000 features 4D contour detect technology. It uses shaving heads that move in eight directions to cut up to 20 per cent more hair in a single pass. I have tried it for the last week and yes, it takes less passes to do the job. And it’s not fussy on how you hold it, unlike older models.
Even though it boasts 30 per cent better lift and cuts closer shaves, it doesn’t mean you will use it less. It is ultra-light and includes an attachable trimmer, which is much easier to use than the flip-out ones in traditional models. It includes a SmartClean technology charge base that uses skin-friendly cleaning fluid to remove hair, foam, gel and lubricate itself. This involves a replaceable liquid cartridge.
The Philips Shave 9000 is finely tuned, but is meant to replace shavers that are several years old. But what a shaver! It has a 45-day risk free trial.
The Braun CoolTec shaver, $150, has unique cooling technology unlike any other shaver. Nestled between its three rows of three-stage, self-adjusting cutting heads is an aluminum cooling bar, which when optionally turned on feels literally ice cold.
For guys who tend to have sensitive skin when rubbing hard with traditional shavers, the CoolTec makes a huge difference and makes the boring task of shaving refreshing. I found it shaves better than most shavers. It is available in most stores.
This amazing electric screwdriver from Black & Decker has no buttons and is small enough to fit in a kitchen drawer. The B&D Gyro, $40, becomes an extension of your hand, taking a couple of tries to get used to.
When gripped, twisting your wrist ever so slightly to the right starts screwing clockwise. Twisting more speeds it up. Twisting to the left unscrews. It includes a built-in working light, small charger and bit.
I have used it since last winter and it has not let me down. It is not heavy duty, but it keeps up with any job you can do with a manual screwdriver. Although it hasn’t been around long enough to keep its charge for the stated 18 months, I have left it in my drawer for several months at a time and it has always worked. It is available in most tool sections of hardware stores.
For the chef
The Philips Airfryer comes in last year’s original Viva model, $200, and the new Digital model, $299.99. They both use the same energy saving internal fan, Philips Rapid Air Technology, to prepare desserts and meals. Depending on what temperature you pick during cooking – for example fries with only one tablespoon of oil – you can start with a lower temperature for moist inside flavour and finish with a higher temperature for crispy skin.
The removable cooking basket has a mesh bottom for better hot air cooking. It comes with a cookbook and more recipes online. The Viva, available in most stores, has a manual temperature/timer button with a spring-like timer, so you have to be on top of things while cooking and changing temperatures around.
The pricier Digital model, with a similar storage footprint, has an intuitive digital touch display, minus the analog dial turning of the Viva model. It uses the same heating technology for the same results.
Both models are great for surprisingly tasty and healthy eating.
For Italian pasta making with flare and speed, the Philips Pasta Maker, $299.99, makes authentic pastas using fresh ingredients. It makes a pound of pasta in 15 minutes, with automatic mixing, kneading, extruding and exerting with 725 kg pressure. Pasta shaping heads are included with more to come.
For more updated information on all Philips products go to: http://www.philips.ca/ and search each model.
For the long winter
Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with the new Philips goLITE BLU energy light. The goLITE BLU uses dedicated LED light frequency to make you feel more energized naturally, with blue ligh. Its small size makes it easy to use near any wall outlet. It features a frosted front shell and seamless edge. The portable re-chargeable model, $199.99, will last through several days of daily treatment. It is available at Costco.ca, Personal Edge, Centre du Rasoir and London Drugs.
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